Our Stories

Ambitious, curious and creative students who are eager to explore their academic options. Dedicated and compelling faculty who enjoy mentoring students. Successful alumni who explore what drives them to find their purpose.

John along with friends at the Muny

Combining a Practical Side with a Creative Side

Spending some summer nights at a well-known theater in St. Louis, John O’Brien became fascinated with how a theatre production comes together. That experience, combined with the wide opportunities students have to personalize their education at Truman, opened the door to a whole new world of career options he had not even considered.

Eric Norfleet

Small Town, Big Opportunities

A talented student from Park Hill South High School in Kansas City, Eric Norfleet describes Kirksville as the best surprise in Missouri.

Huan Truong

Navigating the Future

Prior to studying at Truman, Huan Truong was a college dropout in his home country of Vietnam. Today, the computer science alumnus has a Ph.D. and works for one of the most technologically innovative companies on the planet.

Sana Camara

Here to Help

Originally from Senegal, Sana Camara has made Kirksville his home for nearly 30 years. Throughout his tenure at Truman, Camara has taught all levels of French courses.


Destination: England

Significant things happen to students during their time at Truman which serves as a gateway to international education. Spending a semester in England, Danika Eaker used the study-abroad experience to strengthen several practical life skills.

Zac Burden

Teaching Outside the K-12 Classroom

As director of Missouri Hall, one of the residence halls on the Truman campus, Zach Burden gives his students the respect, compassion, and empathy to grow into the best people they can be.


Working Side by Side with Students

For 31 years, Ron Rybkowski has been a fixture in the Theatre Department, however, casual fans of Truman productions can be forgiven if that sometimes slips their minds. Rybkowski does not long for the spotlight, but relishes in helping others succeed.


A Way to Pass the Time

“There’s just something awesome about taking something tattered, torn, used, forgotten – these baseballs that have definitely seen better days, ones that most coaches would just throw away – and just turning them into beautiful pieces of art.”


Life is Art

“I’m attracted to both fibers and ceramics because as a discipline they both started as purely functional objects,” Maggie Adams said. “There is no practical reason for people to add decoration to the surface of a pot or intricately sew patterns into cloth, and yet we do.”


Young Entrepreneur Pitches Innovative Ideas

As a three-time finalist for a Truman competition called Bulldog B.I.T.E., which stands for Business Innovation by Truman Entrepreneurs, Will Fries  has looked not one but seven investors in the eye and pitched his idea in hopes of a good return.

Jerry Mayhew

Working with Future Leaders

Jerry Mayhew, professor of exercise science, views Truman’s premier teaching and research labs as on par with any other university.


Making Music Come to Life

Paul Niehaus IV has been busy putting his own stamp on the music industry as a performer, producer, audio engineer and record label owner. Tapping into his extraordinary musical talents and the practical skills gained through a liberal arts education, Paul used his understanding of the complex nature of the music world to build a successful career.

Airbrush design on car

A Unique Artist

Hailing from Sri Lanka, Rahil Gomes began his art career as a young child by drawing and doodling. Today, he prefers to paint on a canvas that has an uneven surface — like his white Kia.


A Different Kind of Mogul

While working with at-risk youths in California, Shaunelle Curry (’95, ’97) realized how something as simple as the music they listened to could influence their lives in a negative way. So she looked for a way to make a positive change in her community.


Young Entrepreneur Takes Old-School Approach

Most 20-something entrepreneurs today are using technology as a means to build their empires, but Austin Hayden (’15) is taking a decidedly retro approach when it comes to selling his recreational water pads.

More student stories  More faculty stories  More alumni stories